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New Player in Global Broadband Video Market

Informitv reports that Babelgum is a new contender for the global broadband video market. Just like the Joost project from the creators of the Skype internet telephone service, it is based on a secure peer-to-peer (P2P) video network.

Babelgum claims they have a vast range of content -- including documentary, shorts, animation, comedy, news, sport, music, lifestyle and much more. They believe that among the hundreds of millions of broadband users worldwide there will be an audience for pretty much any type of content on any subject.

It is backed by Silvio Scaglia, who made a personal fortune from Fastweb, the Italian broadband video, voice and data service provider. Babelgum is surprisingly similar to Joost. Both projects are currently being beta tested by Informitv. They both provide full-screen video, using MPEG-4 H.264 AVC compression, streamed over a secure peer-to-peer network. There are also evident similarities in the on-screen user interface.

The Babelgum project was conceived when Silvio Scaglia met technology strategist Erik Lumer at the beginning of 2005. Erik was a communications consultant with a PhD from Stanford who had previously worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

A development team was established in July 2005 and began work in Italy and France. The development is being led by chief technology officer Mallku Caballero. He was previously co-founder and chief scientist at White Pine Software, which produced CUSeeMe, one of the first popular video applications on the internet.

Described as a global internet television network, Babelgum also claims to combine the simplicity, immediacy and visual quality of traditional television with the interactivity, unlimited capacity and global reach of the internet.

The business model is based on enabling producers to present their programming to a global audience, letting viewers see both niche and mainstream material free of charge, and allowing advertisers to reach specific targeted audiences worldwide.

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